All posts tagged: workshop

truffles and bonbons!

Truffles anyone? Me, me, me! I recently took a truffles and bonbons class at Oaktown Spice Shop. The instructor was none other than the owner and founder of Endorfin Foods – Brian! He makes the smoothest chocolate bars sans milk! (You must try the Turkish coffee bar!) I’ve made truffles once before; they turned out smooth and decadent, but they were on the softer side and would lose their shape quickly. I brought all my questions to class and learned lots of important tips and tricks. We even learned some truffle making hacks like making the ganache in a blender with a heat gun instead of using a double boiler, and using an infrared thermometer to read the ganache’s temperature instead of a candy thermometer (it’s way cooler!). Brian demoed how to make ganache and he brought some premade/precooled ganache for the hands-on part of class. We learned how to flavor the ganache, what types of liquids to use, and what the ganache should look like while it’s being made. Then, with gloves on (and being …


When life gives you lemons, you make embroidery sampler hoops! Ya! I recently took an embroidery workshop with Jennie Lennick of Jenny Lemons. Jennie designs, sews, block prints, and paints her uberly cute and colorful clothing line in her San Francisco studio. She also teaches fun workshops and creates playful embroidery + fabric art. Her foodcentric creations are my favorite. I’ve taken an embroidery class before but learning from different teachers is always a good idea. Some stitches were familiar, others I had forgotten about, and still others were completely new. It was also great to learn new techniques for familiar stitches, and be inspired by Jennie’s projects and super helpful pro tips. In this workshop we learned and practiced: Running stitch Backstitch Whipped backstitch Blanket stitch (or what I now like to call eyelash stitch) French knots Couching Satin stitch Here’s one of Jennie’s sample hoops. Class went by so quickly; I could have easily continued to practice stitches for another couple of hours. Jennie serves hot tea in her workshops, too, so I was …

chai time!

My good friend Angel (the lady behind Todos Organics) and I ventured to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden this past weekend for a lesson in chai and spice. Class was held in the Garden’s Tropical House which was the perfect location for learning about masala chai; many of the plants used in masala chai recipes are grown here. Our instructor was Deepa Natarajan, ethnobotanist and lover of masala chai! She’s also got her own masala chai spice blend that is sold at the Oaktown Spice Shop. Basically, she is a masala chai celebrity. 😉 Deepa gave a us history lesson in tea, talked about each of the spices you might put in a masala chai, and showed us the different plants in the garden that produce masala chai ingredients. Masala means “mixture of spices” and chai simply means “tea.” What makes a masala chai? Clove, star anise, cinnamon… …cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, coriander… And ginger! I got to help grate the ginger on a ginger grater, which I’ve decided I need in my life. This thing is amazing! Here’s …

fish pickles.

My last wish list skill for my summer learning was fish pickling and curing. I know what you are thinking — “That’s totally awesome!!” (See macrame and indigo dyeing, too!) I had been wanting to take a class at Preserved for a while now and as I perused the class list, pickling and curing fish, stood out to me as a unique craft. Even though I know people have been doing this for centuries this is a completely new to me endeavor. And this time I brought my friend Lennie along for the fishy ride! Preserved houses all the supplies for all  your preserving needs. I got to class early and spent the entire waiting time just staring at the shelves, imagining all the things I could make. Our instructor Danny is a fish curing expert, and class was like a live cooking show, complete with food stand ins. Danny reviewed a number of curing and pickling techniques, and we got to feel, smell, and taste the various methods. My favorite technique might have to be the water-vinegar …


Next up on my Summer Skills List: indigo dyeing. This time I dragged my friend Danielle! 😆 We took class at Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville with Alexa of Euclid and Jayne. We learned all the basics and had the best time experimenting with different techniques. The class fee included two pillow cases and one tea towel, and we were encouraged to bring some extra small items to dye as well. I brought two infinity scarves and another tea towel to complete the set. (Dharma Trading sells some great items for indigo dyeing!) You don’t need much to create beautiful designs, but you do need some space for getting messy. We used pieces of wood, rubber bands, clamps, and a ladle. Yes a ladle! Before: After: The final colors were a few shades lighter after I rinsed the excess dye and ran it through the washer and dryer. Check out all the lovelies made by my classmates! Now I want to indigo dye everything. I see blue sheets, dresses/skirts, and giftables in my future!


This summer I made it my goal to learn new skills and techniques. First on said list: macramé. I found a macramé plant hanger class on Verlocal taught by You’re Crafty owner Elizabeth. She has a great studio space at Sew Op in San Francisco. It’s an awesomely decorated and inspiring space to create. I invited my friend Aileen to join me. The class itself was pretty much a private lesson with us two plus one other student, which was great because I always have questions. So many questions. Elizabeth walked us through each step. It’s definitely a time consuming craft, especially if you use thin cord, but it’s worth it in the end, especially when you use fun beads to accent your piece! Tahdah! Now I just need to find a cute plant to match. What was on your summer crafting list? Share below!

craftmaster part four.

Technically it’s still summer so here’s one more summery craft: driftwood sailboats! I was super excited when Modern Mouse invited me back to host their August Sunday Crafternoon. They already had this craft in mind and it was fun to play with materials I don’t usually craft with, and to also craft with a drill! The stations were set up with how-to guides and tools, and the safety-first crew made sure nobody tripped on cables. Behold this awesome driftwood selection harvested by Mr. Kuro-Same himself – Matt! He also pre-drilled them for all our crafternooners. And this awesome fabric collection was provided by Head Mouse Eleen. Loving all the patterns and colors! Let’s get to crafting! After an hour or so of cutting, glueing, and hammering, our team of crafters made an amazing fleet! All together now! What are you waiting for? Head to the beach and grab some nature supplies. These sailboats are too cute to pass up! 🙂